Founded in early 2015, the Brooklyn-based company has been involved with MetaMask, an Ethereum wallet application that allows users to store and transfer cryptocurrencies and tokens.
The company has been raising funds. Most recently it raised $450 million through its Series D funding bringing ConsenSys valuation at over $7 billion.
In an exclusive interview with Etmarkets.com, Joseph Lubin, Founder and CEO, ConsenSys, said that the funding will be utilized for two major purposes- expansion of MetaMask and hiring right skilled talent across the globe.
“Funding is supporting the rapid expansion of MetaMask with a major redesign scheduled for release later in 2022, as well as the roll out of a plug-in extensibility system that will allow integration with a wide variety of blockchain protocols and account security schemes,” he added.
ConsenSys is also aiming to accelerate global adoption of Infura’s development tool and drive NFT adoption for artists, content creators, brands, intellectual property owners, game publishers, and sports leagues.
“Hiring is also a high priority,” Lubin said. “We are recruiting talents all over the world, including in India. Only in March 2022, we hired 70 new talents bringing ConsenSys employees number to 776.”
ConsenSys is among the players, which are voting for regulatory clarity to protect consumers and bolster the marketplace integrity while also creating a vibrant ecosystem where innovation can thrive.
The current environment is serving the goals, but is a poor fit for a disintermediated system as the framework for achieving those goals was designed for an intermediated system, said the company spokesperson.
Speaking on the safety of crypto networks, David Shuttleworth, DeFi Economist at ConsenSys said, “We need to remember that MetaMask is non-custodial software that runs on users’ devices, similar to a web browser.”
Like a physical wallet in an individual’s back pocket, MetaMask doesn’t have any access to users’ funds. It is the responsibility of the wallet owner to never share their secret recovery phrase with anyone, he added.
ConsenSys claims to have multiple partnerships with security companies and anti-phishing companies who are working to target scammers, and there are ongoing investigations into various identified scamming groups.
Last month, the crypto world was rocked by one of the largest hacks in Web3 history with about $625 million exploit from Ronin, the blockchain to the wildly popular Axie Infinity play-to-earn game.
Axie developer Sky Mavis announced in a blog post that the exploit resulted in losses of over 173,600 Ether and 25.5 million USD Coins, a stablecoin pegged to the US Dollar, a total worth more than $625 million by then.
However, crypto exchange Binance has recovered $5.8 million worth of stolen funds originating from last month’s unprecedented Axie Infinity exploit, reported CoinDesk.
“We offer the ability to connect to external hardware wallets for added security for people who store a significant amount of funds in their wallet. We strongly recommend the usage of a hardware wallet,” Shuttleworth said.
According to experts, the best steps a person can take after a theft is to immediately notify law enforcement, and monitor where the funds are transferred on Etherscan or a similar block explorer.
When the funds are transferred to a centralized exchange, it is able to intervene, freeze the funds, and launch an investigation. Most exchanges require an email from law enforcement to initiate this process.
We continue to ask everyone to tread carefully when sharing wallet information and to never share their Secret Recovery Phrase with anyone. We welcome everyone to help chip in and make web3 less friendly to scams. Web3 belongs to everyone and we should all try to keep each other safe, Shuttleworth added.
Bridging is a highly technical and complex area of Web3. Most bridge protocols are relatively new and the sub-sector as a whole is still in the early stages of its development.
Shuttleworth believes that there simply are not enough audit and security experts in the space to avoid major scams in protocols. “As this specialty field expands and more talent enters into the space, better standards of security, not just for bridges, but for Web3 as a whole will become available,” he added.
Just like other market experts, Shuttleworth backs the Metaverse, whose potential and utility have yet to be realized. Most of its benefits have only been discussed in very abstract ways, with very little actual use cases, he says.
“The version of the metaverse that we’re seeing now is only the very basic infrastructure and groundwork. Builders will continue to iterate, and stronger projects with better designs, more functionality, and greater utility will continue to emerge that blend reality with Web3, ” he said.
Other than metaverse, ConsenSys is highly optimistic on the NFT theme. “One emerging theme within the crypto space is NFT functionality. Popular collections such as Crypto Punks and Bored Apes Yacht Club continue to grow in value,” he adds.
One problem is that this value becomes locked within the NFT so users must sell their NFT in order to access its liquidity, said Shuttleworth. “New DeFi NFT primitives have emerged that enable users to unlock their NFTs value without selling it, such as non- fungible debt positions and collateralized loans.”